Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Walk Through The Universe: Red, week 3

Another week of to think about something else that's red....Malus domestica of the family Rosaceae...the apple!!  I've just found out that there are 7,500 cultivars of the apple, that it originated in western Asia and the Alma, its wild ancestor, still thrives there today.  A quick place to start for information of all kinds on the apple, including it's place in cultural history, can be found here.  I was curious about how many types of apples there are and was astonished to learn it ran way into the thousands and at the site All About Apples you can find an exhaustive list of all the varieties of edible apples and crabapples that are available currently in the United States...it doesn't run to 7,500, but it must number in the hundreds.  I was going to count, but the prospect just seemed too daunting....you're welcome to do and let me know what you find out!

I did happen to notice on that site a recipe for Bourbon Apple Pie, which I've bookmarked...I'm sure that will appeal to the other half of this dynamic duo!  Snooping around on the site, I found another fascinating section here under the Resources tab...the art created for advertising on apple crates.  Those beautiful labels were originally round and placed on barrels, but eventually the containters became the rectangular crates we recognize and so did the labels. I had no idea that these labels were ever done the "old fashioned" way...through stone lithography...a little section of the description:

"Originally, European immigrants combined their printing skills with local concepts to create art unsurpassed anywhere in the world. Bavarian limestones were imported to provide a surface upon which the original label art would be etched. Costly inks were used in a time consuming process done completely by hand. This "Stone Lithograph" process is seldom seen today in any art form. Over time more modern processes replaced this artistically demanding effort."

They're right about that one...stone lithography, very labor intensive, is a process seldom seen today...relegated to a few print programs in higher education, some fine art printmaking establishments and a limited number of individual artists.  My husband teaches lithography at USD, but programs that teach it at the university level are dwindling year by year, I believe. Hope you'll check out the gallery of apple crate labels on All About Apples...couldn't seem to get any images to share here. Meanwhile....the apple is featured in a number of intriguing art works below...links provided to the artist's shop on etsy.

See you fine folks tomorrow!  If you have a chance to eat a really good apple these days...enjoy it!!!


  1. This is very interesting! My degree is in horticulture, so I very much enjoyed the walk through history on apples. (AND, I just bought a whole bunch--though, they aren't red--to make a pie tomorrow! Fortuitous timing!) Thank you so much for featuring our Snow White print--really lovely of you!

    Amanda, ArtisanMaskers

  2. Patti - I think that top image (artisan makers) sums up temptation and seduction with that one red apple - fabulous!

  3. I just came across your interesting blog. What a great little piece you've done here!! And wonderful Etsy items you've cultivated, too!

  4. Patti, I love the symbolism of apples. This is a great collection of evocative apple images.

    I'm flattered that you chose my collage. Thank you so much! And it's so nice to discover your wonderful work.

    Martha - brushwithimagination and colorpoetry

  5. Great post! And I did go check out the crate labels - they are amazing!

  6. and both apple-bark and apple leaves will make lovely prints on cloth...yet another useful side to this splendid genus

  7. Amanda...that must be really interesting to have a background in horticulture! I wish I had more lives to live, I'd pursue that one, along with many others! Happy to feature your Snow White print...enjoy those apples!

  8. Sarah...Welcome! So glad you found this blog and glad you enjoyed this post...thank you for taking time to comment too!

  9. Martha...so glad I found your work as well...in both of your shops! I think I found some of the most interesting apple imagery...all beautiful and evocative! Thanks for allowing me to share your work.

  10. Gabriella...yes, those crate illustrations are amazing. I remember cataloging some books, way back when, filled with illustrations designed for fruit crates...so fun!

  11. India...hmmm....I'll have to go investigate apple as print matrix! I bet I could find some lurking on your blog or website...I'll have to investigate further! Thanks for your comment....


I'm happy to hear from you...comments and questions are welcome!